Japanese plums and the connection to learning


If one puts efforts into studying, the plum trees will bloom.

While researching Koishikawa Korakuen in Tokyo, I came over this small quote. It is a proverb, which connects plum trees with learning.

I already knew that famous plum viewing shrines, like Kameido shrine or Yushima-tenjin, are also a great place to make wishes for passing tests or getting accepted to universities.
But I didn’t have the connection between both until now.
There is always something to learn when researching Japanese culture and history!
For more information about the connection between plum trees and studying, please read Allan Brewsters comment below!

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2 thoughts on “Japanese plums and the connection to learning

  1. I think this has more to do with Tenjin-sama, Sugawara no Michizane, a Heian bureaucrat who was exiled to Kyushu from Kyoto, was subsequently deified and became the kami of education. He had a love of ume trees, such that a particular tree magically flew to Kyushu to be with him; Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine in Kyushu is still renowned for its plum orchard and Tenjin shrines generally (such as the two named above), hold a matsuri at the time of the ume blossom; well attended by students who seek success in their exams.

    1. Yes, I haven’t had the time to add that yet. Tenjin will appear in one of our next eBooks, although without plum trees.
      I guess the proverb was created later because of the connection between Tenjin and ume.

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